Thursday, 18 October 2007

Foreign Mystery

Finished October 10
The Glass Devil by Helene Tursten
This Swedish mystery took me a while to warm up to. At first the story seemed unemotional, but it gradually came to sections where the characters seemed to gain depth and warmth. The main detective here is female, Irene Huss, and she is a member of the Goteborg police force. The police procedure is glossed over somewhat, so you don't get a detailed sense of how the force operates, but there is some discussion of regular meetings and shifts. Irene seems to have a comfortable yet formal relationship with her boss, and good relations with several of her colleagues, some of whom she respects more than others. The humour between the characters gradually takes shape, as does Irene's family. Her observations are described very factually, and yet with some intuition showing as well. I will try another one by this author to see if the sense I had by the end of the book remains with me.
As to the content of the mystery, it centers around a particular family with the father a minister, the mother with a history of depression, and the son seemingly interested in mission work, as well as teaching. With the son and parents murdered early in the book, the relationships they had with the sister in England becomes very important, and she stays a bit of an enigma as both the British police and Irene find it difficult to make headway with her.

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